Seaside Strides- Whitstable 10K, 7/5/12, Keith Gilbert.

On Bank Holiday Monday I ran in The Bailey’s Nissan Whitstable 10K, my fourth go at this. It is a very popular race for 10K PB chasers, drawing runners not only from all over Kent, but also London, and I also noticed runners from Tring. It can take up to 700 entrants and entries are not taken on the day as it is normally full.

This was another bike and run outing for me,a round cycle trip of 16 miles mostly off road along NCR 1 to get there.The weather was great, a bright dry sunny morning following so many dull rainy days.

Before the race I briefly met up with fellow VRUK member Christopher Caps for the first time, although he had been planning to do the race was unfortunately unable to do so owing to ill health.However he did provide an encouraging cheer shortly after the start line.

The course is generally flat, the first half follows the coastline slightly inland and the return half is mostly along the seawall with the sea immediately to your right.

I was planning on sub:50.The first half was well on target, but my average pace started to slow to 5:02 min/km on the way back. However as the finish line came into sight I noticed I still had nearly a minute left to come in on the right side of 50. A minute can be a long time in running, so with one eye on the big timing clock I pulled out all the stops and came in at 49:53.

My official chip timing and position was; 49:43, 243/621, 48/80 men 50-59.

That is a 21st century 10K pb for me. Last years result was 50:20. I also noted in my Fetch Race Portfolio that I was given a WAVA rating of 65.99 the highest on my records.

On the Saturday I had been at Whitstable for The Parkrun, a rather bleak morning of heavy winds, which yielded a more ponderous 25:39,  37/102,  2/5 men 55-59.

          Wishing you all good running,